Bunce takes to the stage with live boxing shows

Having lost his regular spot on Gabby Logan’s sofa and his weekly boxing show on Setanta, sports journalist Steve Bunce is embarking on a unique form of “self-publishing”: he is going on the road with a live show at 12 venues around Britain and Ireland between now and Christmas.

Bunce’s first live date is in Manchester on September 22. According to his own publicity, all the venues on the tour are “intimate” (that means small), with tickets at £15 each now on sale via Bunce’s own website.

Each show will be in four parts – news, interviews, a boxing quiz, and a Q&A session with the audience. The local amateur boxing club will receive a £250 donation from the event.

“There will be news, there will be previews and there will be speculation,” Bunce says.

“Setanta’s collapse and ITV’s withdrawal from boxing by the end of the year makes it a tricky time for boxing promoters – and I’ve gotta go cap in hand to people!”

For his interviews section of each show, Bunce declines to name his interviewees, but explains, “There will be fighters and fight people at each of the 12 events. I will also do live interviews over the phone with fighters and the fight people in the news that week. This not TV, so expect it to be lively.”

The opening date is just days before Matt Macklin’s European title fight, so Bunce will take middleweights as his theme for that show. “I have a few up my sleeve,” he says. “I will be in fight cities before big fights — Belfast on October 6 and Nottingham on October 13.”

While a departure from his usual work, the shows fronted by Bunce, whose boxing knowledge is matched by his quick-fire banter, could see sports journalism meet stand-up.

“It’s been difficult to explain the idea to people in the boxing business,” says Bunce.

“The usual format for anybody talking about boxing is for a bad meal, a bad dinner jacket, an average hotel, an American fighter from the 80s on the top table, an auction of signed garbage (Tyson’s jockstrap, two previous owners…both nuts!) and a hole of about 150 quid in the pocket.”

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